Annual Ryegrass is a tufted grass, usually planted under irrigation. It is more tolerant to the challenging conditions in South Africa than Perennial Ryegrass. It can be categorized into either Westerwold-, Intermediate- and Italian types.
Westerwold types do not require a prolonged cold period to become reproductive and will give better production in mid-winter and spring. With an autumn planting date, it will become reproductive in October.
Italian types becomes reproductive with a significant cold period and have a long growing season (up to 12 months) when planted in autumn, and even longer (up to 18 months) when planted in spring.
Intermediate types are blends of Westerwold and Italian types in different ratios, which means that they will have varying growth periods. Leaves are nutritious, soft and highly digestible resulting in good animal production.
This grass is best adapted to areas where the annual rainfall exceeds 1200 mm and distribution correlates with the crop’s production curve.
14-20 t DM/ha/season
Depending on environmental conditions and management
Quick to establish
Short grazing cycles
Diploid and tetraploid types are available
More tolerant to poor soil fertility than Perennial Ryegrass